About Stroke

In the United States someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death  – after heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory disease. It is also the leading cause of disability. You can reduce your risk of having a stroke by learning to recognize warning signs, becoming aware of your personal risk factors and improving daily habits for a healthier lifestyle.

What is a stroke?

A stroke is simply a lack of adequate blood supply to the brain, caused by a clot (ischemic stroke) or bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke). Brain tissue dies within four minutes after a stroke begins.

Quick action preserves brain cells. Some treatments can only be successful in minimizing damage to the brain if they begin within a few brief hours after stroke symptoms appear. The sooner you seek medical care, the better your chances for a successful recovery.


Being able to recognize the symptoms of a stroke is critical. BE FAST is a simple tool to help you learn the signs and symptoms of stroke so you know when to seek medical attention for yourself or someone else.

Review common stroke symptoms to help you remember the BE FAST message.